READ æ Townie By Andre Dubus III

Townie By Andre Dubus III

SUMMARY Townie By Andre Dubus III

Won Book of the Year Adult Non Fiction 2012 Indie Choice Awards Best Book of the Month February 2011Dubus relives absent self pity or blame a life shaped by bouts of violence and flurries of tenderness Vanity FairAfter their parents divorced in the 1970s Andre Dubus III and his three siblings grew The most interesting and moving memoir I’ve ever read This book tracks the life particularly the early life of this excellent writer through a series of roughly chronological memories and anecdotes Brought up in tough New England towns he tells of how he was the recipient of regular beatings from the local hard cases This pattern continued as he moved from one run down area to the next until he decided to change things by developing his own body through boxing and weight lifting to enable his transformation into a street brawler feared by othersThe author's father left home for one of his many female conuests early in the life of Dubus and the relationship between father and son is a strong thread throughout The journey from fighter to manual worker whilst flitting in and out of education to his development into an award winning writer is documented with ruthless and uncompromising honesty It's an inspiring and truly uplifting tale I loved it

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Up with their overworked mother in a depressed Massachusetts mill town saturated with drugs and everyday violence Nearby his father an eminent author taught on a college campus and took the kids out on Sundays The clash between town and gown between the hard drinking drugging and fighting of townie This is a rough book It is about violence in all its forms except war and genocide Violence on a personal level If swear words and rape and drugs are going to put you off well then maybe this isn't a book for you But read on It is also about a dysfunctional family I don't like dysfunctional family stories or that is what I thought But hey there is an exception to every rule Maybe I so very much liked it because it is no story; it is autobiographical I also know that I liked it because of the writing Andre Dubus III can write A good author can write about any topic and this is a good author Excellent writing Descriptive so you see and feel the atmosphere and tension of the scene He describes the accouterments of a bar a bloody body after a fight and even some humor is thrown in It is said In one of those games with a ball in it As a child Andre NEVER went to a ball game be it baseball or football or tennis Absolutely no ball games How could he His single mother worked; his father saw him so infreuently that he simply was never there Money Poor; he was lucky if he had a pair of shoes Dialogs are pitch perfect The writing is about rough situations but each word is absolutely perfectI feel I better understand why someone would turn to violence The author turned to violence to protect himself and his family and then that violence took over and where would it ever end That is the uestion he comes to That is the uestion that the reader looks at That is the central uestion of the book but you do not accuse and you understand and you do not merely place blame The book is all about family relationships Jeez what we do to each other The reason why this book is so good is that even if you are not a violent person yourself you understand why one could become violent and you stop accusing and blaming and looking down on those who have taken that misstep And where does it end In violence In death But you know he is now a writer so read onThe audiobook is narrated by the author himself It couldn't have been better He is telling you how he felt You feel his sorrow and anger confusion and uestions He is telling his story and no one else should tell his story but himI shouldn't have liked this book but I certainly did Good book Very very good book Definitely deserves four stars

Andre Dubus III á 8 READ

S and the ambitions of students debating books and ideas couldn’t have been stark In this unforgettable memoir acclaimed novelist Dubus shows us how he escaped the cycle of violence and found empathy in channeling the stories of others bridging in the process the rift between his father and himse I got two thirds of the way through this book and I surrended If this was fiction I would say that the main character is a damaged and flawed person with serious anger issues Sadly it is a biography and I just cannot care about a man who in his mid twenties needs to run around a town looking to beat up people for what he thinks are insults Or looking for insults so he can get into a fight No signs of redemption although since he wrote some good books later on one can assume he figures out that life is than late night bar room brawls But I think I would be embarraassed to have lead this life much less write it up and publish it I am embarrassed to have kept reading for as long as I did thinking that at some point he would become interesting Mermen (The Mermen Trilogy, of students debating books and ideas couldn’t have been stark In this unforgettable memoir acclaimed novelist Dubus shows us how he escaped the cycle Jet-Setting Escort, Book 1 of violence and found empathy in channeling the stories Bound of Schlossöffnung - So öffnen Sie jede Tür others bridging in the process the rift between his father and himse I got two thirds Metallurgie extractive du cobalt of the way through this book and I surrended If this was fiction I would say that the main character is a damaged and flawed person with serious anger issues Sadly it is a biography and I just cannot care about a man who in his mid twenties needs to run around a town looking to beat up people for what he thinks are insults Or looking for insults so he can get into a fight No signs Iyami Osoronga of redemption although since he wrote some good books later Quebec Autoroute 15 on Crystalline Illumination one can assume he figures Endgame (Voluntary Eradicators, out that life is than late night bar room brawls But I think I would be embarraassed to have lead this life much less write it up and publish it I am embarrassed to have kept reading for as long as I did thinking that at some point he would become interesting


10 thoughts on “Townie By Andre Dubus III

  1. says:

    The most interesting and moving memoir I’ve ever read This book tracks the life particularly the early life of this excellent writer through a series of roughly chronological memories and anecdotes Brought up in tough New England towns he tells of how he was the recipient of regular beatings from the local hard cases This pattern continued as he moved from one run down area to the next until he decided to change things by developing his own body through boxing and weight lifting to enable his transformation into a street brawler feared by othersThe author's father left home for one of his many female conuests early in the life of Dubus and the relationship between father and son is a strong thread throughout The journey from fighter to manual worker whilst flitting in and out of education to his development into an award winning writer is documented with ruthless and uncompromising honesty It's an inspiring and truly uplifting tale I loved it


  2. says:

    I have never read any of Dubus' books because back when he was popular I Didn't Do Tragic His memoir got good buzz though so I decided to give it a try Let's just say that I don't plan to read any of his fictional books everI feel bad for Dubus He got a raw deal with a father who couldn’t be bothered to spend time with his children and a mom who was too busy and exhausted to pay adeuate attention to them With the exception of his younger sister Dubus' siblings were adrift and had problems with drugs His naturally small size made him a bully magnet in the rough neighborhoods he grew up in after his parents' divorce And despite all that he was able to make something of himself and not die young and violently like so many he knew That doesn't mean I like his memoir though It commits the cardinal sin of books it was boring Horribly horribly boring Not that his life wasn't compelling Growing up in the bad part of town led to some craziness and horror and childhood especially one with so many siblings is natural fodder But Dubus' writing style made everything that should have been interesting incredibly ponderous dull and choppy It's even surprising given the fact that there were so many fights that took place Dubus bulked himself up as a teen and had a short fuse and a childhood surrounded by violencethere were a lot of barstreet fightsBut the fights were semi random and I could never understand nor bring myself to care how they started or who they were with Truthfully it mostly seemed that Dubus just attacked people whenever they stepped out of line or he was feeling upset so there wasn’t really any rhyme or reason to begin with and his writing style just muddled things The book was mostly chronological but sometimes wasn’t which was confusing There were so many people drifting in and out with no real sense of who they were that I stopped bothering to keep track Even his own siblings never come into focus There’s a vague sense of them Jeb is the artsy suicidal one; Suzanne is the classic Little Girl Lost using drugs and sex to fill the void created by daddy issues; Nicole is the studious one hiding in her room from the broken world and dysfunctional family she’s trapped in But that’s just the surface and I can tell you nothing about any of them especially Nicole who I was most interested in she seemed the most together of them all and I’m curious how she did it There are giant holes in the timeline Dubus is interested in a Persian girl and then suddenly he’s moved to Texas and no mention is made of how their relationship ended The middle school art teacher who is sleeping with Dubus' brother Jeb while Jeb was her student randomly appears and just as suddenly she’s gone from the narrative Dubus is suddenly a parole officer or something Dubus is suddenly married Dubus decided to go to college despite being a punk who according to the narrative had little interest in school WHAT WAS GOING ON?? Also I hated Andre Dubus senior than I hated any other villain I've read about this year and I've read some dark stuff Maybe he wasn't supposed to be a villain but I feel like he was one and I found him incredibly despicable I probably hate him knowing that he was real while the other villains I've read about recently were fictional Dubus senior was a horrible horrible man with few redeeming ualities He was the worst father someone could be short of being actually abusive He was a chronic philanderer who couldn’t stop himself—and truthfully likely never tried—from screwing his students even when he was married He was a drunk a man child a cheater He was neglectful of those he should have loved and cared for and almost pathologically selfish And this is even through Andre Junior’s vaguely sympathetic though hurt lense Some people like senior’s writing I will bet you I would find it boring and pretentious and he was apparently charming and willing to help strangers so I’ll give him that So I guess he had some redeeming ualities but I still find him one of the most miserable people I’ve read about this year I wish he was fictional In the end Dubus managed to reveal everything without revealing anything He writes about painful parts of his youth that I think are brave to reveal but never gets close enough to give the reader a sense of anything I hate to say it about a professional author but I wish someone else had written his life story


  3. says:

    The major focus of this soul baring memoir of Andre Dubus III is in Haverhill Massachusetts a city bordering New Hampshire in northeastern Massachusetts It was a former mill town and industrial city which in the 19th and early half of the 20th century was known as the “ueen Slipper City” because of its tanneries and shoe manufacturing They boasted that 110 of the shoes made in the US were made there It is located on the Merrimack River I lived there for a few years and found it to be a “cultural wasteland” The one redeeming factor was that it had a reasonable library My presence there was during the waning years of the shoe manufacturing prior to the Dubus Family’s arrival thereMost of the surroundings had not yet become as described in his account The history of this area plays a major role in the status of the city and in Andre's development Dubus’ parents divorced in the 1970's leaving the mother to cope with 4 children and meager finances His mother was hardworking never able to keep up with the bills cooking laundry or actual care of her children Following the divorce their father maintained sporadic contact with them and tried to help financially but had his own difficulties His relationship with his children was superficial with occasional glimmers of interest Life for these youngsters was difficult filled with violence drugs roaming the crime riddled streets without supervision day and night The city had truly become a wasteland with vacant lots boarded up factories and stores and homes crumblingIt was in this climate that Dubus grew up filled with rage inspired by fear He freuently experienced feelings of emptiness and absence His solution was to become stronger better physically developed able to conuer even the toughest boys As he grew older he often realized that his near compulsion to do body building was so that noone would hurt him or those he lovedThere are many features of this memoir worth sharing but it would be best to read it in context Dubus' writing is riveting and straightforward Without adornment he has conveyed the smells the sounds and the visual assaults for the readerIt was also a pleasure learning about his father a talented revered author in his own right Several of his books of short stories have impressed and even awed me Viewing the development of the relationship of father and son as the narrative progressed was compellingIt was complex yet touching to observe the difficult transition of the young hardened boy to the accomplished man he becameI have admired and respected Dubus' writing and can now see the roots of the difficulties his characters in his books experience Reading this memoir was often unsettling and sometimes tedious reviewing his many fights and brutal encounters It has given me a different view of violence and the confrontations faced by the perpetrators I think about the courage that it took him to write this book to bare his soul to reveal his emotions and the ability to finally and carefully subdue that violent needy child inside of himself ADDENDUM Although I have probably discussed enough about Andre Dubus III one particular feature of his early life has remained with me The idea of how much his childhood lacked is demonstrated when he attended his first baseball game at age 19 He was amazed that grown men were playing a game and thousands were at Fenway Park watching them He had no concept of sports and games at all His friend had to explain the most basic rudiments to him Dancing After Hours Stories and In the Bedroom are two sensitive books by Andre Sr which I read but he wrote many


  4. says:

    This is a rough book It is about violence in all its forms except war and genocide Violence on a personal level If swear words and rape and drugs are going to put you off well then maybe this isn't a book for you But read on It is also about a dysfunctional family I don't like dysfunctional family stories or that is what I thought But hey there is an exception to every rule Maybe I so very much liked it because it is no story; it is autobiographical I also know that I liked it because of the writing Andre Dubus III can write A good author can write about any topic and this is a good author Excellent writing Descriptive so you see and feel the atmosphere and tension of the scene He describes the accouterments of a bar a bloody body after a fight and even some humor is thrown in It is said In one of those games with a ball in it As a child Andre NEVER went to a ball game be it baseball or football or tennis Absolutely no ball games How could he? His single mother worked; his father saw him so infreuently that he simply was never there Money? Poor; he was lucky if he had a pair of shoes Dialogs are pitch perfect The writing is about rough situations but each word is absolutely perfectI feel I better understand why someone would turn to violence The author turned to violence to protect himself and his family and then that violence took over and where would it ever end? That is the uestion he comes to That is the uestion that the reader looks at That is the central uestion of the book but you do not accuse and you understand and you do not merely place blame The book is all about family relationships Jeez what we do to each other The reason why this book is so good is that even if you are not a violent person yourself you understand why one could become violent and you stop accusing and blaming and looking down on those who have taken that misstep And where does it end? In violence? In death? But you know he is now a writer so read onThe audiobook is narrated by the author himself It couldn't have been better He is telling you how he felt You feel his sorrow and anger confusion and uestions He is telling his story and no one else should tell his story but himI shouldn't have liked this book but I certainly did Good book Very very good book Definitely deserves four stars


  5. says:

    I totally agree with Dwight Garner of the New York Times when he writes of this book Townie is a better harder book than anything Dubus III has yet writer; it pays off on every bet that's been placed on him A sleek muscle car of a memoirThe core theme of the memoir is men's particularly his relationship to violence As a kid he was a victim of it This part of the book was hard to read and I almost bailed out on the book because I wanted him to stop being a victim and stand up for himself Then he does and the book really takes off He becomes a tough guy with a reputation He's strong and people are afraid of him which gives him power he's never had But then he starts to see how violence is ruining his life and his relationships To me the most fascinating part of the book is how he works through and matures out of the need for violence as a way to create a sense of selfI think this would be great book to read in a high school literature class I'd love to know what adolescents have to say about it


  6. says:

    Dubus's novels are difficult to read without getting worked up into a frenzy that involves symptoms not unlike severe stress or paranoia At least for me anyway Shortness of breath increased heart rate even sweats these things happen His memoir does not include the same scenes of riveting tension and personal anguish that populate his other works but I found myself still getting worked up reading this especially the early scenes of his torment as a young childA skinny kid raised by a single mother growing up in some of the roughest neighborhoods Massachusetts has to offer tormented by bullies every day Dubus eventually learned to fight back He learned how to fight back a little too well and in the process discovered he had uite a bit of rage in him Read through and it's easy to understand why At it's beginning this is in some ways a typical growing up rough memoir the poverty the bullying the almost religious weight training until he doesn't get picked on very much all that's missing is a montage song really but it's carried along by Dubus's sincere engaging prose that keeps it from being anything but standard or boring He doesn't stop there though Because this memoir carries him through to adulthood and because he doesn't pull any punches on himself or his victims sorry we have his inner turmoil with what all this anger and violence does when it transforms into guilt I was surprised pleasantly so when this became as much a meditation on violence and its conseuences not only on the body but the soul as a chronicle of boyhoodBut while that's a large portion of the book Dubus's relationship with his father was at least for me the most rewarding and touching part Having read both Andre Dubus Sr and Dubus III I often wondered what their relationship with each other was competitive? Supportive? Abusive? Nonexistent? I was interested to find out it was hardly simple enough to boil down to any one adjective Dubus Sr left little Andre's mother when he was young but there was some continued interaction The elder Andre seemed like a difficult man sometimes uiet but often passionate and loud Thankfully he was not abusive but his absence on a day to day level no doubt had an impact I think the young skinny frightened Andre could have used a strong supportive 'manly' father figure in his life Instead he had a distant stranger who obviously loved them but struggled with expressing that This is beautifully expressed in the opening pages of the book where young Andre desperate from some one on one time with his father agrees to go on a weekend run with him The problem is he has no good shoes and having never seriously run before has no idea the lengths his father intends to go By the end of the 10 mile run Andre is struggling to keep up with his father he is out of breath and the shoes have devastated his feet so much that his socks are soaked in blood He never complains though and finishes the runDubus's relationship with his father resonates throughout the book becomes the heart soul of the last third as younger Andre comes into his own as a writer both as a way to escape the plague of anger violence and as a way to somehow connect with his absent father They see of each other but it is in of a 'buddy' capacity than 'father son' Nevertheless it was touching to see both of them struggle and even though it's through the lens of younger Andre's pen one gets the sense he is genuinely telling the truth as he sees it he doesn't always shy away from criticism but he gives credit where credit is dueIf you're unfamiliar with either Dubus's work I might suggest reading some first not only because both of them could easily be included in any discussion of America's finest contemporary writers but also to perhaps get a sense of the characters in this story This memoir is a fantastic read on many levels a coming of age in rough circumstances tale a meditation on the nature of violence a story of father and son but a knowledge of their work and the glimpse into their personalities it provides would definitely make this excellent book a richer experience Andre Dubus III has a way with words that's difficult to pinpoint 'House of Sand and Fog' and 'The Garden of Last Days' are two of the most gut wrenching novels I've read and while he may lack the stylistic flare of a Cormac McCarthy or James Joyce there's something about the brutal sincerity and honest emotional choices of his character that puts the reader in the characters heart and head like few other writers could hope to do 'Townie' may be a true story that lacks the confluence of various conflicting tragedies and circumstances that are the trademarks of his novels but that brutal sincerity and honest emotion is still there Reading this it's easy to see where he gets it


  7. says:

    Like most of my books I read this on my ipad and kindle At one point when I was about to uit I clicked to find I was 40% through the book Do editors still exist? Who would allow the first 40% of a book to be little than a series of school yard brawls replete with description of injuries names of malefactors and explanation of grudges with thin strips of family life laid between The idea of a memoir is not only to render a life but also to understand it Although after 40% the book picked up detailing a bit of the writer's life as one of the severely neglected children of a famous writer it still did not delve into how that neglect contributed to the depression expresses in rages alcoholism and fist fights I persevered to the end and when it was clear to even this disaffected reader that the fight went out of him just as his father became incapacitated the writer didn't seem to get the connection There are passages of great tenderness and mercy here but they feel somehow unearned and unexamined Although there are some lyrical passages in this book it does not nearly measure up to The House of Sand and Fog a book I loved and treasured both for its lyricism and the exploration of motive and personality I am sure there is an eually good book somewhere in Townie it just wasn't birthed properly


  8. says:

    I got two thirds of the way through this book and I surrended If this was fiction I would say that the main character is a damaged and flawed person with serious anger issues Sadly it is a biography and I just cannot care about a man who in his mid twenties needs to run around a town looking to beat up people for what he thinks are insults Or looking for insults so he can get into a fight No signs of redemption although since he wrote some good books later on one can assume he figures out that life is than late night bar room brawls But I think I would be embarraassed to have lead this life much less write it up and publish it I am embarrassed to have kept reading for as long as I did thinking that at some point he would become interesting


  9. says:

    It was like getting a tooth drilled or being hit over the head by the same damn bat I'll pass on this one thank you very muchThe same scenes repeated endlessly Hopelessness cruelty fear and abandonment abound in this book It's a bleak tale and a place I choose not to visit any longer than reading the 67 pages I spent there I've believed Dubus to be brilliant based on House of Sand and Fog but the writing in this book is meandering inconclusive and confusing Often I would read a sentence and feel like I had just read that same sentence after looking back through the pages I would indeed find the same sentence slightly altered in chapters prior I also think my distaste for violence competition and urban environments totally jaded my viewpoint of this bookI love stories that tell of the capacity of humans to endure and overcome adversity but in these types of stories there is usually an inner light within the protagonist and glimmer of hope feelings of repentance or desire Dubus tells a tale of desiring only to escape get high and return the violence to those who bullied him He writes as if detached and distant from the young man in the story Another Good Read reviewer stated it beautifully The focus for most of the book is on his horrible childhood and how weightlifting and fighting street fighting not boxing gave him confidence It's the sort of testosterone heavy story that I usually avoid at all costs I really could have used an adult perspective throughout the book—most of the time it's so claustrophobically inside his own adolescent head that it seems his adult self continues to think this way Even when he has an epiphany towards the end it comes off as ridiculous and makes me wonder if he ever actually grew upWorse the writing is awkward meandering and repetitive It jumps back and forth through time for no reason except that it was badly edited If this is the story that's been fighting to get out all this time I'd think he'd spend a little effort making it as good as his fiction


  10. says:

    Wow It's eight o' clock on the last night of June The grand children are in bed and this is when I usually open up my book and read for the evening The problem is that I finished Townie last night and now I am achingly homesick for HaverhillThis is rather ridiculous since 1 I have never been to Haverhill and 2 the town and the life that Dubus portrays at great length and with much repetition are as gritty as violent as unappealing as anyplace that one might imagine This was hell pure and simple for a family of four whose father splits to lead an independent life as a writer and bon vivant And like hell it never seemed to endeither for the writer or for the readerAnd yet and yet after chapter upon chapter of fights drugs infertile dreams neglect poverty and drink it does Something magical breaks through the bleakness and the last one hundred pages are simply gorgeous They shine and glimmer with redemption love and luminous writing I almost signed off on this book every night this week I am terribly glad that I did not Thank you Grandma Ida for setting the example of always finishing a book You always said I owe it to the writer


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